Halloween movies are known for their campy value. There’s the zombie who walks at a leisurely pace, while the girl he’s chasing runs for her life and somehow they manage to be only a few feet apart. There’s also the crazy killer who never dies — no matter how many times he gets shot.
Some of these movies, however, have such irrational elements that they are redeemed by their hilarity. The Oracle has compiled a list of so-bad-they’re-good Halloween movies.
The Gingerdead Man
The Gingerdead Man is the not-so-thrilling tale of a 1-foot-tall gingerbread man who wreaks havoc on a small bakery. The cookie is possessed by a murderer seeking revenge on the baker’s daughter, who sent him to the electric chair.
With special effects rivaling those of a ’50s science fiction film, it’s hard to believe this movie was made in 2005. Though the special effects are prehistoric and the acting is cheesy, it is somewhat amusing to watch a tiny gingerbread man shoot guns and ram his victims with cars.
The plot is predictable and not at all horrific. For those seeking a spine-tingling horror film this Halloween, The Gingerdead Man will be disappointing — but it’s definitely good for a few laughs. — Amanda Moore
Yes, Blacula is the real title of an actual movie — just picture Dr. J with fangs and a cape. The plot line is simple: A black man becomes a vampire and is sealed in a tomb by Count Dracula. He then awakens in the ’70s and terrorizes Los Angeles.
This film is considered “blaxploitation”— a movie genre in the ’70s that specifically targeted urban black audiences.
What’s next, Blackenstein? Yes, actually. The sequel about a black Frankenstein came out the next year with the tagline: “To beat this mutha, takes one bad brutha.” — Joe Polito
What do you get when you mix gratuitously violent sex scenes and raving mutant gnomes? You’ll either have a grossly sexual lollipop guild from hell or the movie Blood Gnome.
This 2004 straight-to-DVD flop is well-deserving of the fact that no one has ever heard of it. In addition to suffering from the poor acting of a cast that almost exclusively works in unknown horror films, Blood Gnome isn’t even scary. If anything, this film’s subject matter just makes viewers uncomfortable.
Bondage and S&M fans are the movie’s focal points, and the blood gnomes are in on the party. But, even for members of this unusual community, the bloodthirsty little monsters are too much to handle. Quite frankly, it’s doubtful that even the most avid horror lovers could handle Blood Gnome either. — Matt Ferrara
Another Friday the 13th movie sounds bad enough, but trade the familiar Crystal Lake setting for a spaceship and this slasher film becomes laughable. In Jason X, Jason was captured and cryogenically frozen in 2008 and four centuries later he is unfrozen on a spaceship.
The crew of the ship mistakenly believes this strange creature to be dead, completely unaware of his abilities or motives. Soon Jason awakens yet again to the sounds of premarital sex. A killing spree begins, with the highest amount of carnage of any Jason film.
Jason Voorhees, a spaceship, robots and futuristic machine guns that still can’t kill Jason make this film so bad, it’s funny. — Robin Roup
Plan 9 from Outer Space
For those with a craving of kitsch, Ed Wood’s 1956 B-movie gem Plan 9 from Outer Space fits the bill.
In 79 minutes, Wood manages to bring alive “unspeakable horrors from outer space,” that “paralyze the living and resurrect the dead,” according to the film’s tagline. In the movie, aliens plan to take over the planet by resurrecting the dead and using the zombies to do their dirty work. The aliens are almost successful — they succeed in resurrecting three whole bodies.
Plan 9 from Outer Space stars B-movie greats Bela Lugosi and Vampira. Though Lugosi died during the filming, Wood chose to use the footage of Lugosi shot during pre-production and film other scenes with a replacement, concealing his face.
Goofs are numerous and discerning viewers can find hundreds thanks to Wood’s candid approach to production and editing. In Wood’s zany world, hubcap flying saucers dangle from strings, footage is used repeatedly and the aliens are people in lame outfits.
This film should by no means be taken seriously. In fact, famed film critic Michael Medved featured Plan 9 in his book The Golden Turkey Awards, which names the worst movies ever made. — Christine Lapit
Children of the Corn
Children of the Corn can be found in the horror aisle of any video rental store, but with 94 minutes of low-budget effects and a script that is unintentionally laughable, it should be in the comedy aisle.
This adaptation of a short story by Stephen King follows a young couple who stumble upon a town of children who have murdered all the adults. They have done so at the command of a demon referred to as “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” for reasons that are never disclosed.
Adding to the confusion are the alien-like children, who seem to have been cast for the wrong roles. Their dialogue is exaggerated to the point of hilarity and is rivaled only by an unimpressive display of cheap special effects.
Children of the Corn won’t give anyone nightmares, but it may cause confusion about how a group of pre-teens could make murder so absurdly entertaining. — Veronica Perez
This strange fantasy comedy is about an unpopular high school girl, Louise, who finds out she is a witch.
The best part of the movie isn’t the cheesy dialogue or the low-budget special effects — it’s the music. For example, in one scene Louise uses her magic to get her best friend to rap at her crush. The song includes lyrics such as: “I’m hot / and you’re not / but if you want to get with me I’ll give it one shot / top that!”
There’s also the girls’ locker room scene, in which cheerleaders dance to a song that repeats “I like boys” over and over again. The dancers smile cheaply at the camera throughout the number while using every prop in the room to their advantage.
The mismatched voices and bad lip-syncing make this movie one of the most awesomely bad films in history. — Candace Kaw